Princess Diana has been known for being a philanthropist, and quite an altruistic one to add. Her son Prince William has adapted her philanthropic attitude, taking part in charities and even being a patron to some of them. In fact, the Duke of Cambridge — in a surprising tribute to the Princess of Wales — once slept in the streets of London, as someone who is homeless would.

The prince’s first patronage was with one of the United Kingdom’s leading youth homelessness charities, Centrepoint. Princess Diana used to be a patron of Centrepoint as well, showing how Prince William was truly dedicated to keeping the mission of his mother alive. Diana used to take her children to the homeless shelters so that they too may be exposed to the life outside of the Palace.

In an effort to understand the difficulties and challenges of homeless teenagers, Prince William left the comfort of the Palace and his bed and spent a night on the streets. He slept in a cardboard box in the freezing temperature outside, with little comfort and warmth. 

He was accompanied by the chief executive of Centrepoint Seyi Obakin. The two reportedly stayed out from midnight until six in the morning, revealing that they had slept in an alleyway behind some garbage bins.

“But there was no shielding from the bitter cold, or the hard concrete floor, or the fear of being accosted by drug dealers, pimps or those out to give homeless people a ‘good’ kicking,'” Obakin recalled from the events of that night. “One of the hairiest moments occurred when we were almost run over by a road sweeper … I have never been happier to welcome the break of dawn!”

“I cannot, after one night, even begin to imagine what it must be like to sleep rough on London’s streets night after night,” William shared. “Poverty, mental illness, drug and alcohol dependency, and family breakdown cause people to become and then stay homeless. I hope that by deepening my understanding of the issue I can help do my bit to help the most vulnerable on our streets.”

Princess Diana, Prince Harry and Prince William Princess Diana (L), Prince Harry, (C) and Prince William (R) gather for the commemorations of VJ Day, 19 August 1995, in London. JOHNNY EGGITT/AFP/Getty Images